Roosevelt trims Issaquah, 21-17, before record crowd

October 2, 2012

By John Leggett

The defensive line for Issaquah High School stops Roosevelt junior running back Lianteo Culpepper for no gain on fourth-and-two at the Eagles’ 33 yard line and takes the ball over on downs during the third quarter. By Greg Farrar

The theme of the night was music Sept. 28 when Roosevelt visited the Eagles’ Nest as a record throng of 2,100 fans packed Issaquah High School’s Gary Moore Stadium and was not only treated to a rare appearance by the University of Washington marching band, but also witnessed a nailbiting KingCo 4A encounter in which the Roughriders eventually prevailed, 21-17.

A tandem of senior Roosevelt running backs (Taku Shiozaki and Mitchell Boldin) combined for a dominant rushing attack. The nearly unstoppable RHS ground game produced well over 200 yards rushing for the evening and all three of the Roughrider touchdowns.

Roosevelt broke the scoring ice midway through the first quarter, as Shiozaki, the thunder portion of the Roosevelt thunder-and-lightening backfield duo, steamrolled into the end zone from one yard out. After RHS booter John Peterson sent a wounded quail of a point-after-touchdown kick through the uprights, Roosevelt held a 7-0 upper hand.

Roosevelt had done an admirable job of bottling up a fierce Issaquah offense in the clashes opening 12 minutes.

Only moments into the second stanza, though, as the Roosevelt quarterback dropped back to pass, he was nearly swarmed by an aggressive Eagle defensive pass rush, before getting off a wobbler.

Issaquah senior linebacker Tyler Sheehan alertly swooped in front of the errant aerial, returning it to the Roosevelt 16-yard line.

Four plays after the Sheehan interception, the Eagle road-graders up front on the O-line gave hardnosed IHS junior tailback Jack Gellatly room to roam and he waltzed to pay dirt, untouched from 6 yards out. Issaquah senior kicker Alex Shane pumped through the extra point and the score was knotted at seven each.

Mercurial Mitchell Bouldin (Roosevelt’s lightning) sent the Roughriders jogging into the halftime locker room with a 14-7 advantage when he broke free on an 18-yard touchdown jaunt, sprinting into the end zone.

After a memorable intermission, courtesy of a cameo appearance by the University of Washington Husky marching band, both units got back to gridiron biz in the third quarter and Issaquah ramped up its offense considerably. Before the Roughriders knew what had hit them, Issaquah was knocking on the door again.

Issaquah used the overland route (Gellatly’s fearless romps) halfway through the third frame to smash, bash and thrash its way down to RHS’ 12-yard line. With Roosevelt’s defenders anticipating more of the same, senior Issaquah wide out Reed Peterson bamboozled a Roosevelt defensive back into thinking that he was running a go route to the corner of the end zone.

Peterson caught the defender backpedaling, though, and when he took one step past the goal line and promptly button-hooked the pattern, Peterson left himself wide open for a 12-yard touchdown strike hurled by IHS signal caller Jack Neary. Shane once again legged through a powerful point after touchdown and the tally stood at 14-14.


Most of the third quarter was spent between the 20-yard lines as the two KingCo 4A adversaries exchanged several punts. But just as the final seconds were ticking away in quarter number three, rapid Issaquah defensive end Andrew Dieken penetrated the Roosevelt protective wall to block a Roughrider punt. After Issaquah recovered the bouncing ball, it was in scoring position once more.

The siren sounded to end the third quarter just after the Eagles were called for an offensive holding penalty on a third-and-five from the Roosevelt 15-yard line, and after the men in stripes stepped off the infraction, Issaquah was looking at a third-down-and-10 to go.

Issaquah was unsuccessful in its quest for the first down, but is one of the few schools in the KingCo 4A blessed with a kicker the likes of Shane. Without hesitation the upperclassman split the uprights with an accurate 37-yard field goal that would have been good from 50 yards out, to furnish the purple and gold with a 17-14 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

After being on top for the first time in the wild affair, Issaquah seemed to become a bit complacent and even lethargic on defense. Roosevelt seized the opportunity to burn up most of the sand remaining in the hourglass, managing a relentless 80-yard, 12-play drive down the turf culminating in a 4-yard Shiozaki plunge that sealed Issaquah’s fate.

The setback sent Issaquah’s conference record plummeting to 0-2, leaving them in the KingCo 4A’s Crown Division cellar along with 0-2, 1-4 overall Garfield High, which was annihilated by Skyline, 67-16, Sept. 28.

The Eagles will endeavor to improve upon their 2-3 overall mark, when they journey to face a struggling Bulldog squad for a rare engagement at venerable Memorial Stadium in Seattle at 7 p.m. Oct. 6.

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